The primary union representing the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced Saturday a vote of No Confidence in Sheriff Jim McDonnell exactly one month out from the June 5 election.
The results of the survey are staggering; with 1,423 deputies (about 20%) of deputies voting. This is largest percentage of deputies to participate in a vote in memory.
In fact, 97% of deputies participating in the vote registered their lack of confidence in McDonnell.
“The underlying sentiments which drove responses should certainly be of concern to Sheriff McDonnell,” ALADS said in a statement. “In particular, the Sheriff should take note that this vote represents a loss of confidence in him by a significant number of his deputies.”
Although only about 10% of ALADS members participate in its annual elections, its Board of Directors required an unprecedented 33% of members vote in order for the union to make an endorsement in the election (despite the fact that it regularly endorses candidates without any member input). As of the Wednesday cut-off, a highly-motivated 17.9% of members had voted. The voting was conducted through a secure login to ensure its credibility and was promoted extensively by ALADS and on social media and was in addition to two interviews with each candidate ALADS has conducted in the last six months.
These results illustrate clearly that whether or not Sheriff McDonnell was the right vote four years ago, he has alienated those he needs to lead (as well as many of those who previously supported him). New leadership is needed to move the organization forward.
“When ALADS’ Directors and Field Representatives speak to members, they primarily hear complaints over the seriously flawed disciplinary system and the use of that flawed system to tarnish the reputation of deputies (even after the California Appellate Court ordered them not to do so),” the ALADS statement continued.
“Following close behind, are member complaints of harsh working conditions stemming from the staffing crisis and substantial shortage of deputy sheriffs, ending [the reassignment of detectives to plug holes in patrol, known as CARPing], the failure to provide proper training and equipment, stopping forced overtime which jeopardizes the safety of deputies, poorly planned scheduling, and inaccurate budgeting for positions. Correcting these issues will doubtlessly go a long way to making the L.A. Sheriff’s Department a place where deputies want to stay and attract new and desperately needed candidates to the Department.”